Kirrie athlete has hopes for success

WORLD'S TOUGHEST MUDDER: John Soutar in training for one of his biggest challenges yet.

WORLD'S TOUGHEST MUDDER: John Soutar in training for one of his biggest challenges yet.

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KIRRIEMUIR athlete John Soutar is heading across the Atlantic next month to compete in the World’s Toughest Mudder challenge.

The event is a gruelling 24-hour challenge that involves competitors racing to complete as many laps as possible of the 10-mile extreme obstacle course that has been specially designed to find the toughest man, woman, and four-person team on the planet.

To get to this stage, John has been whittled down from 500,000 other competitors from every corner of the globe to be in the final 800 as they take on what has been described as probably the toughest event on the planet!

The event itself takes place on November 17 and 18 at Raceway Park, Englishtown, New Jersey. This date and location has been chosen specifically to ensure the competitors have to battle not only with the course, but with the extreme elements such as freezing temperatures and a long dark night.

To get to this point, John competed in a qualifying round of Toughest Mudder at Drumlanrig Castle in the Scottish Borders earlier this year.

The course was everything but serene as he battled his way around the 12-mile, 30 obstacle route that was laid out with the help of the British Military Services to ensure things got very tough indeed.

John said: “Going into the event the goal was to finish in the top five per cent with the hope of qualifying for WTM, but to finish first was unbelievable! All the training and hard work throughout the year has certainly paid off.

“Completing a 12-mile race is one thing, going the distance and doing 24 hours straight will take me into the unknown.”

John, who is from a motocross background and was once Scottish champion in his age category, began to look into other ways to feed his need for competitive sport when racing motorbikes became too expensive.

This took him into the world of triathlons and adventure races such as the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest and the Rat Race Adventures Coast to Coast, a 105-mile journey across Scotland from Nairn to Glen Coe running, cycling and kayaking.

This event was held recently where again John tasted victory, being first home in a time of 8:58:20, a clear 30 minutes ahead of second place and a whole hour ahead of third.

John said: “That was one of the toughest day’s racing I’ve ever had, with a head wind from start to finish and some rough terrain along the way it didn’t make it easy.

“To win is out of this world. After last year’s disappointment at this event of only finishing 20th, I have fought back and worked hard to get myself in the best shape possible to be as fit as I can for these events, now I just have to look forward and keep focused for World’s Toughest Mudder in November.”

With only five weeks until the event, John is in full swing with preparation for his American Adventure, with Tiso and Cotswold Outdoor helping to organise some of the required kit and his own training regime going to plan, things are looking good for him.

He is also raising funds for two local charities, TCCL – Tayside Children With Cancer and Leukaemia, and the TCCL Lodge. If anyone would like to help John in his quest to become World’s Toughest Mudder or for any more information on the charities he has chosen to support, then he can be contacted on s0utar@live.co.uk